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A look at the redistricting process in every state

June 15, 2016

FOX 2 Now

Districts for U.S. Congress and state legislatures are redrawn every 10 years after each U.S. census. In most places, that task is done by state lawmakers. Gerrymandering can occur when they draw boundaries that favor certain people or political parties, typically those already in power.

To try to diminish the role of partisan politics, some states use appointed commissions for their redistricting duties. Those commissions have varying degrees of political independence from lawmakers. A look at how each state handles redistricting:

ALABAMA

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

ALASKA

A 1998 amendment to the state Constitution created a five-person board to handle redistricting for state House and Senate seats. Two members are appointed by the governor and one each by the presiding officers of the House and Senate and the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Alaska has only one district for Congress.

ARIZONA

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by a five-person commission created by a voter-approved ballot measure in 2000. Twenty-five potential redistricting commissioners are nominated by the same state panel that handles appeals court nominees. The legislature’s two Republican leaders choose two commissioners from 10 Republican candidates, and the two Democratic leaders chose two from their party’s 10 nominees. Those four commissioners then select the fifth member, who must be an independent and serves as chairman.

ARKANSAS

A panel consisting of the governor, attorney general and secretary of state draws state legislative districts. Congressional districts are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

CALIFORNIA

Districts for the state legislature and Congress are drawn by a 14-person commission, the result of voter-approved ballot measures in 2008 and 2010. A state auditor’s panel takes applications and selects 60 potential redistricting commissioners _ 20 Democrats, 20 Republicans and 20 others. The state Assembly and Senate majority and minority leaders each can eliminate two nominees from each political category. Eight redistricting commissioners are randomly selected from the remaining pool of candidates. Those commissioners then select the six other members of the panel. It takes nine votes to approve the districts.

COLORADO

State legislative districts are drawn by an 11-member commission. The majority and minority party leaders of each legislative chamber each appoint one member, the governor appoints three and the chief justice of the Supreme Court appoints four. Congressional districts are drawn by the state legislature, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

CONNECTICUT

Districts for Congress and the state legislature require a two-thirds vote of approval from each state legislative chamber. If lawmakers fail to pass a plan, the task falls to a nine-member commission. The majority and minority party leaders of each legislative chamber each appoint two commissioners and the panel then picks its ninth member.

DELAWARE

State legislative districts are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto. Delaware has only one congressional district.

FLORIDA

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are both drawn by state lawmakers. Congressional districts are subject to a gubernatorial veto. The legislative districts are not, but are automatically reviewed by the state’s Supreme Court.

GEORGIA

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

HAWAII

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by a nine-person commission. The Senate president and House speaker each appoint two commissioners. The minority legislative party appoints two commissioners who, in turn, pick two more. The ninth commissioner is chosen by the other eight members of the panel.

IDAHO

Districts for Congress and state legislature are drawn by a six-member commission. The majority and minority party leaders in each legislative chamber each select one person to serve on the commission; the state chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties also each select a commissioner. Two-thirds of the commissioners must vote o approve a map. Commissioners cannot be government officials or lobbyists.

ILLINOIS

Congressional districts are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto. Lawmakers also are responsible for drawing state legislative districts, but if they fail, that task falls to an eight-member commission. The majority and minority leaders of each legislative chamber each choose two commissioners _ one lawmaker and one citizen. If the panel fails to approve new districts by a majority vote, the state Supreme Court submits the names of two individuals from different parties and one is randomly chosen as a ninth member of the commission. An initiative proposed for the November ballot would shift congressional and state legislative redistricting to an 11-member citizens commission.

INDIANA

State legislative districts are drawn by lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto. Lawmakers also are responsible for drawing congressional districts, but if they fail, the task falls to a five-member commission. The panel consists of the top-ranking lawmaker and redistricting committee chairman from each chamber, as well as a lawmaker picked by the governor.

IOWA

The nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency provides the legislature with a draft redistricting plan for both Congress and the state legislature. If lawmakers reject it, the panel submits a new plan. If legislators reject the second version, a third plan is prepared. But unlike the first two, the third version can be amended by lawmakers before they vote on it.

KANSAS

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto. The state legislative plan is automatically sent to the state Supreme Court for review.

KENTUCKY

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

LOUISIANA

Districts for Congress and the sate legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

MAINE

A 15-member commission drafts redistricting plans for Congress and the state legislature and submits those to the legislature. Lawmakers can either enact those plans or approve their own plan by a two-thirds vote of each chamber. The House speaker and minority leader each appoint three members, and the Senate majority and minority leaders each appoint two to the commission. The chairmen of the state Democratic and Republican parties also serve as commissioners. Republicans and Democrats on the commission each select one additional member from the public, and those two people then pick a third person from the public.

MARYLAND

The governor submits a plan for state legislative districts at the start of the legislative session. The governor’s plan becomes law within 45 days, unless the legislature passes its own redistricting plan, which is not subject to a gubernatorial veto. Congressional districts are drawn by lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

MASSACHUSETTS

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

MICHIGAN

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

MINNESOTA

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

MISSISSIPPI

Congressional districts are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto. Lawmakers also draw state legislative districts, which aren’t subject to a gubernatorial veto. If they fail to agree on state legislative districts, the task is handled by a five-member commission composed of the chief justice of the Supreme Court, the attorney general, secretary of state and the top leaders of the House and Senate.

MISSOURI

Congressional districts ar drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto. State legislative districts are drawn by two separate commissions. For state House districts, the Republican and Democratic parties each submit two nominees per congressional district, and the governor appoints one person from each party from each congressional district. For state Senate districts, the state Republican and Democratic parties each nominate 10 people, and the governor appoints five from each party. Redistricting plans need approval from 70 percent of commissioners. If a commission fails, the state Supreme Court appoints a panel of six state appeals court judges to draw those districts.

MONTANA

Legislative districts are drawn by a five-member commission. The majority and minority leaders of each state legislative chamber appoint one member each. Those four then select a fifth member, who serves as chairman. The commission submits a plan to the legislature, which can make recommendations, before the commission signs off on a final map. The process currently is used only for state legislative districts, because Montana has just one congressional district.

NEBRASKA

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto. The legislature passed a measure this year that would have created a nine-member citizens commission to handle redistricting, but it was vetoed by Gov. Pete Ricketts.

NEVADA

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

NEW JERSEY

Congressional districts are drawn by a 13-member commission. The majority and minority leaders in each legislative chamber and the chairmen of the Democratic and Republican parties each appoint two. The panel then picks a finalmember, who is not a public official. If the commission cannot agree on a map, the state Supreme Court approves whichever of the commission’s two leading proposals best conforms to U.S. law. State legislative districts are drawn by a 10-member commission, with five members each appointed by the chairmen of the state Democratic and Republican parties. If commissioners can’t agree on a plan, the chief justice of the Supreme Court appoints an 11th member to the panel.

NEW MEXICO

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

NEW YORK

Under a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2014, a 10-member commission will draft districts for both Congress and the state legislature. The majority and minority leaders of each chamber each appoint two members to the commission. Those eight members then select the other two commissioners. Panel members cannot be state or federal officials or lobbyists. Plans require approval of 70 percent of the commissioners. The state legislature and governor then can approve or reject the commission’s plan. If they reject a second version, lawmakers can make changes to the plan before passing it.

NORTH CAROLINA

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers and aren’t subject to a gubernatorial veto.

NORTH DAKOTA

State legislative districts are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto. North Dakota has only one district in Congress.

OHIO

Voters approved a state constitutional amendment last November creating a seven-member commission to draw state legislative districts. The panel will consist of the governor, auditor, secretary of state and one person appointed by each of the top majority and minority party lawmakers in the House and Senate. Districts for Congress are drawn by state lawmakers, with help from a six-member task force appointed by the Hose and Senate leaders.

OKLAHOMA

Districts for the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers. But under a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2010, that task falls to a seven-member commission if lawmakers fail to pass a plan. The governor and top lawmakers in the House and Senate each appoint one Republican and one Democrat to the panel; the lieutenant governor serves as the non-voting chairman. Congressional districts are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

OREGON

Districts for Congress are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto. State lawmakers also are responsible for drawing state legislative districts, but if they fail to pass a plan, that task is then done by the secretary of state.

PENNSYLVANIA

State legislative districts are drawn by a five-member commission. The majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate each appoint one member, and those four members then select a fifth person to serve as chairman. If they cannot agree on a chairman, the Supreme Court appoints one. Districts for Congress are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

RHODE ISLAND

Under a 2011 law, an 18-member commission drafts proposed districts for Congress and the state legislature. Those plans are subject to approval and changes by state lawmakers, as well as a potential gubernatorial veto. The top House and Senate leaders each appoint four lawmakers and three citizens to the commission, and the House and Senate minority leaders each appoint two lawmakers.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

SOUTH DAKOTA

State legislative districts are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto. However, a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot would create a nine-person commission of registered voers to handle the task. Aspiring commissioners would apply to a state election board. State officeholders and political party officials could not be commissioners. South Dakota has just one district for Congress.

TENNESSEE

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

TEXAS

Districts for Congress are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto. Lawmakers also are responsible for drawing state legislative districts, but if they fail to do so, that task falls to a five member commission. The panel consists of the lieutenant governor, House speaker, attorney general, comptroller and state land commissioner.

UTAH

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

VERMONT

An appointed board drafts proposed districts for the state legislature. Those plans are subject to approval and changes by state lawmakers, as well as a potential gubernatorial veto. The board consists of a chairman appointed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, one resident from each political party appointed by the governor, and one resident chosen by the state committee of each of those political parties. For the most recent redistricting, the panel consisted of seven members, including members of the Democratic, Progressive and Republican parties. Vermont has just one district for Congress.

VIRGINIA

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

WASHINGTON

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by a five-person commission. The majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate each appoint one registered voter to the panel, which then selects a fifth nonvoting members to serve as chairman. Commissioners cannot be elected officials, party officers or lobbyists. State lawmaers can amend the redistricting plans by a two-thirds vote of each chamber.

WEST VIRGINIA

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

WISCONSIN

Districts for Congress and the state legislature are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto.

WYOMING

State legislative districts are drawn by state lawmakers, subject to a gubernatorial veto. Wyoming has only one district in Congress.

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Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures, “All About Redistricting” website hosted by Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, and Associated Press research.